Underground Film Journal

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Light Industry: Onishi Kenji’s A Burning Star

By Mike Everleth ⋅ July 10, 2010

Light Industry

July 13
7:30 p.m.
Light Industry
177 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201

Hosted by: Light Industry

A Burning Star is Japanese filmmaker Onishi Kenji’s feature length experimental documentation of his father’s funeral. But, rather than a sentimental tribute, Kenji films the cold reality of death by undressing his father’s corpse on camera and filming the body’s cremation.

The film was made in 1995 and, in 1999, it had its U.S. premiere for a one-night only screening that was reviewed by Light Industry’s Ed Halter for the NY Press. Halter positions the film in the tradition of other “scandalous” Japanese avant-garde works as wells as traditional American underground filmmaking:

Despite [Kenji’s] scandal-mongering rhetoric and extreme subject matter, his approach has more in common with the arty abstract narratives of Hollis Frampton or Stan Brakhage than with the attitudinal Cinema of Transgression or mainstream-friendly post-Tarantino artsploitation.

Kenji’s films rarely screen in the U.S., so this is a very special treat.